New MS Plugin Opens Office 2007 Docs -- In Firefox - InformationWeek

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12/4/2008
11:12 PM
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New MS Plugin Opens Office 2007 Docs -- In Firefox

Reading Microsoft Office OpenXML docs can be a problem if you still use an older version of Office. A new plugin, however, offers a ready solution for anyone -- including Linux users -- running a current version of Firefox.

Reading Microsoft Office OpenXML docs can be a problem if you still use an older version of Office. A new plugin, however, offers a ready solution for anyone -- including Linux users -- running a current version of Firefox.The OpenXML Document Viewer Project is dedicated to providing "plugins and tools to view MS Word 2007 documents on platforms where Word 2007 is not available." Besides systems running older versions of Office, of course, that means platforms for which Microsoft Office isn't available at all.

The plugin, which Microsoft has released on its Codeplex site, is available under an open-source MS-PL license. It is available for Firefox 3.0.x browsers on either Windows or Linux (that's not a typo) systems. Although the plugin, which converts OpenXML-formatted Word documents into standard HTML, is still in its early stages and offers relatively limited functionality, it should be more than adequate at least to make sense out of most Word 2007 documents.

Plenty of other options are available for converting OpenXML documents to other formats -- including third-party applications such as OpenOffice.org and the built-in Gmail conversion tools, among others. As a tool for quick-and-dirty Word 2007 document viewing, however, with as little online fiddling or software installation as possible, this is certainly a welcome addition.

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